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Light and shadow - LED lighting for sacred buildings

The origins of the St Mary and Bartholomew Church in Harsefeld, Germany, date back to the first millennium. Previously refurbished in the 1960s, the interior of the neo-Gothic building was now to be modernised, including a comprehensive interior refurbishment under energy-efficient and aesthetic aspects. The development of a new lighting concept for the listed building with its stately cross vault presented a particular challenge. The lighting solution demanded a subtle design and needed to be integrated with minimal changes to the structure of the church. In addition to superb visual comfort, the lighting also needed to meet the requirements of a contemplative atmosphere.
The lucente office responsible for the lighting design developed a solution that delivers a harmonious synergy of historic structure and modern LED lighting technology. Customised luminaire rings frame the space-defining pillars of the nave discreetly at a height of around eight metres. True to ERCO’s principle of "light, not luminaires", the lighting tools were integrated to be as unobtrusive as possible. The highly efficient LED luminaires were aligned to illuminate and precisely accentuate the interior both directly and indirectly. Quintessence LED downlights ensure good visual comfort, and finally, Optec LED spotlights illuminate the cross vault effectively and specifically accentuate individual architectural elements such as the church organ, itself one of the most striking features in the room. A wireless DALI lighting control system, managed via a tablet, provides easy and flexible adjustment for various lighting requirements.

Project: Harsefeld church interior renovation
Client: Harsefeld parish
Lighting designer: lucente Lichtplanung, Sittensen
Opening: April 2014
Products: Quintessence LED, Optec LED
Photos: Frieder Blickle, Hamburg

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About ERCO

The ERCO Light Factory in Lüdenscheid is a leading international specialist in architectural lighting using LED technology. The family business, founded in 1934, now operates as a global player with over 60 subsidiaries, branches and agencies in over 40 countries worldwide. Since 2015 ERCO's portfolio has been 100% LED. Inspired by "light digital" as its leitmotif, ERCO in Lüdenscheid develops, designs and produces digital luminaires with focus on photometrics, electronics and design. Working closely with architects, lighting designers and engineers, ERCO develops lighting tools used primarily for applications in the following fields: Work, Shop, Culture, Community, Hospitality, Living, Public and Contemplation. ERCO understands digital light as the fourth dimension of architecture - providing highly precise and efficient lighting solutions to support creative designers in turning their visions into reality.
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